I knew something was happening during the middle of 6th period: there were too many sirens going off in the distance. So many, in fact, that the students stopped their activity and said, “What’s with all the sirens?” My window faces north, and we all looked out, but saw nothing. We had a power surge as well, which I attributed to people running appliances during the warm weather. It was not until after school, when I was leaving to run errands that I noticed the frightening smoke on the horizon.
As I headed south on Van Ness, I could see the thick, black plumes rising into the sky, ominous on a day like this. Turning eastbound on Slauson, I encountered heavy traffic, punctuated by ambulances and fire trucks, as well as sheriffs patrols and parking enforcement redirecting traffic away from southbound Western Ave.
I tuned to KFWB and heard the details: a tire yard caught fire, spreading to a pallet yard. Some power poles and cars caught fire (hence, I believe, the power surge), but no major injuries. One firefighter was hospitalized for heat injuries.